Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 7/20/2009

Jul 20, 2009 2:48pm

TAPPER: The president has had a lot of kind words to say about the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and their ability to provide quality health care and reduce costs.  But the clinic issued a statement about the House Democrats' bill, saying, "The proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher quality, more affordable health care for patients, and in fact it will do the opposite.  In general, the proposals are not — under discussion are not patient-focused or results-oriented.  Lawmakers have failed to use the fundamental lever of changing Medicare payment policy to help drive necessary improvements in American health care." Does the president have any response to that, given his respect for the way the Mayo Clinic provides health care?
  
GIBBS:  I saw that not long before I came out here.  I don't — I've asked the health policy people to look directly into that.  I know that we've worked with — with, as I said, doctors and nurses and lots of stakeholders on improving legislation, making sure that we're focused on patient quality, making sure that we're focused on cost-effective medicine.  And that's what we'll continue to do.  I'll work on getting something more specific.
  
TAPPER:  OK.  And then, if I could just ask one other question, on April 20th — I know you remember when the president said that he'd asked all the Cabinet secretaries to identify at least $100 million in additional cuts to their administrative budgets, separate and apart from the work Orszag and the rest of the team did.  And they were required to report back with their savings at the end of 90 days. So that was 91 days ago, and I'm wondering if you guys have any list of the spending cuts.
 
GIBBS:  The — those are being reviewed now, and we'll release something in the coming days.

TAPPER:  OK, thank you.

- jpt

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